LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KARK) — Governor Asa Hutchinson commending most of Arkansans today for following safety guidelines, but he has a strong message for those who blatantly do not follow those guidelines.
“I encourage people to put public health above any other consideration, in terms of wearing a mask and socially distancing, this is not about politics, this is not about a philosophy other than being a good neighbor and being a good citizen,” said Governor Hutchinson.
Governor Hutchinson on the offense after scenes made national news over the weekend, but he did praise those who are adhering to safety guidelines.
“And that is a concern and you don’t diminish it but you also want to recognize how many people in Arkansas have done the right thing. The vast majority are really paying attention to follow the guidelines and to make sure that they do not contribute to the spread of this virus,” said Governor Hutchinson.
Governor Hutchinson has said in the past that the state will not shut back down, but in order to move on to the next phase of reopening Dr. Nate Smith emphasized that Arkansans need to do their part in conjunction with the state.
“But as I’ve said before, moving forward we are going to depend more on public health interventions, testing, and contact tracing, but also those individual decisions are going to be what we need more and more to protect ourselves and our communities,” said Dr. Nate Smith from the Arkansas Department of Health.
Dr. Smith says there should still be concern for a virus even if the mortality rate is one percent.
“One percent of the population, if applied to the entire population of Arkansas, that’s 30,000 deaths. That’s not acceptable,” said Dr. Smith.
The Governor said the speed in which Arkansas moves forward is very dependent on how Arkansans handle this from a health standpoint. He also says that the state is ready for any potential influx in hospital cases that could result from this current flare-up.